consumers spend a vast amount of time and money looking for the ideal
A/V components, few pay much attention to evaluating cables for their
system. Many of the larger A/V chains push Monster
Cable and as a result they have become the de
facto standard for quality interconnects. They offer their
customers great cables, but often times at a hefty price. In fact, many
consumers become shocked that they have spent so much on cables they really
didn't intend to buy. We've always felt that the cable market needed some
real competition to bring down the price and raise the quality of interconnects.
A company called Accell Corporation,
a wholly owned subsidiary of Bizlink Technology and a leading supplier
of cable products, recently unveiled an extensive line of high-quality
connectivity products that not only target the audio and home theater
market, but computers users as well. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley,
Accell Corporation produces cables that are made of high quality materials
with advanced construction, and as a result provide exceptional performance
and value. Accell Corporation has recently announced its UltraAudio
and UltraVideo series of products for use in audio and video applications.
The new Ultra series preserves signal integrity while providing the quality,
durability and sleek design necessary for today's audio and home theater
We had the opportunity to tests
several of their new cable products in our A/V system. Audio cables included
their two-channel analog cables and subwoofer cable. Video cables included
composite, s-video, component, DVI (single link) and F-cables. One observation
that can be made with the cables we received was the impressive build
quality given the price. There are many manufacturers making fancy looking
cables, yet most of the "inexpensive brands" have substandard
quality control, which can result in poor connections.
UltraAudio products includes Analog Audio cables, Subwoofer cables,
Digital Audio coaxial cables, Fiber Optical Toslink cables and Oxygen
Free Copper (OFC) Speaker cables terminated with gold-plated pin connectors.
The speaker cable is also available in bulk spools for custom lengths.
The UltraAudio Analog cables feature 100% Mylar foil shielding to
help minimize electromagnetic (EM) and radio-frequency interference (RFI).
The 24K gold-plated contacts insure good conductivity along with a split
tip center pin that increases contact pressure. The design of the analog
audio cable utilizes balanced, dual copper conductors to transfer the
signal more efficiently than conventional audio cables. This design results
in low signal loss and a transparent sound quality. The UltraFlex
jacket not only protects the wires, but also simplifies routing and installation.
Shield termination is unidirectional, so there are arrows provided on
the cable to aid in the installation. There are also O-ring seals on each
backshell to help prevent moisture and dust from getting into the assembly.
The cable is available in lengths of 1m, 1.5m, 2m and 4m.
The UltraAudio Subwoofer cable has the same quality construction
found in the two-channel version. Dual balanced conductors carry the signal
though the cable for maximum dynamic range with braided copper and 100%
foil shielding to minimize interference. This subwoofer cable is also
a unidirectional design. Since subwoofer cables can typically be long
(20+ feet), the importance of good shielding and low-loss is vital to
preserving signal integrity. Both the connectors and split center pins
are 24K gold-plated to minimize contact resistance. The cable is available
in lengths of 6ft, 12ft, 18ft and 24ft.
UltraVideo products consist of Composite, S-Video, Component and F-Pin
cables. They feature 24K gold-plated connectors and contacts, high purity
copper conductors, UltraFlex high quality jackets, precision shielding
and gas injected low-loss dielectrics. In addition, Accell is announcing
its Gold and Premium Series Digital Visual Interface (DVI) cables (Single
and Dual Links) for use with HDTV's, digital flat panel displays, projectors
and other DVI enabled display devices.
The UltraVideo composite cable has a unique construction with a specially
wound, high purity copper conductor, which is said to improve the signal
transfer. While on the surface nothing appears simpler than a composite
cable, the reality is composite cables must not only carry luminance information,
but modulated chroma signals as well. Composite signals can easily be
degraded due to incorrect line impedance and poor shielding. The design
of the UltraVideo Composite Cable was impressive with six fingers that
grab the RCA jack and a split center conductor to increase contact pressure,
all ensuring a positive connection. The Accell Composite Video cable uses
24K gold plated RCA connectors with high purity copper conductors with
a nitrogen-injected dielectric. The cable is double shielded to help reduce
interference. The overall construction of this cable give the user confidence
that the connection is solid for years to come or at least until a new
piece of gear is installed. We connected our DVD player for test purposes
as found the video to be quite good for a composite connection. However,
composite signals should never be used for high quality video applications.
There are times when the user has no choice. The cable is available in
lengths of 1m, 1.5m, 2m and 4m.
The Accell UltraVideo S-video cable is very well made offering customers
a real value for their video investment. The back-shells are sturdy and
easy to grab, built much like the ones found on the RCA connectors. The
cable design uses a specially wound, high-purity copper conductor that
is said to transfer the video signal more efficiently than ordinary video
cables. Connectors and pins are 24K gold-plated to ensure long-term reliability.
This cable also uses the UltraFlex jacket. Performance was excellent
and it was nice to see a quality built product. S-video connectors are
an unfortunate part of consumer electronics, but thanks to Accell it looks
like you will no longer have to put up with the cheap s-video cables that
come with so many products. The cable is available in lengths of 1m, 1.5m,
2m and 4m.
We tested out a set of right angled component video cables with our Kenwood
Sovereign DV-5900M 400-disc DVD changer. This cable has straight connectors
on one side and right-angled connectors on the other side. The right angle
design works well with products that leave little space in the rear of
the unit. The DV-5900M is very large and deep, making it difficult to
place it inside of any conventional cabinet. Even with almost two feet
of cabinet depth, standard cables connected to the back of this unit create
a problem. The Accell Component Video cables with 24K gold plated RCA
connectors allowed us to interface to the DVD changer with a solid connection
in a tight space. Each connector is color coded and labeled with Y, CB(Pb)
and CR(Pr). The cable design uses high purity copper conductors with a
nitrogen injected dielectric. The cable is double shielded to help reduce
interference. The cable is available in lengths of 1m, 1.5m, 2m and 4m.
The new UltraVideo Gold Series Digital Visual Interface (DVI) cables
support bandwidths up to 4.95 Gbps for ultra-high resolution displays.
The construction of these new cables includes 24K gold-plated connectors
and contacts for long term reliability. The design uses an ultra-low loss
gas-injected dielectric to maximize signal transfer. The cable is fully
DDWG (Digital Display Working Group) compliant which ensure compatibility
with your DVI components. We tested the 6-foot DVI Gold Series DVI-D Single-Link
cable using a Mitsubishi HD-5000 A/V controller and a Mitsubishi PD-5010
plasma display. The construction of the cable and housing was great with
a solid feel when interfacing to the components. The cable is available
in lengths of 6ft, 10ft and 15ft.
The UltraVideo F-pin coax cables are refreshing to see after using
the conventional "Cable-TV" style interconnects found in almost
every system. The F-pin connector design uses an easy-grip housing making
it easy to mate and de-mate to the video component. Also worth mentioning
is the gold-plated center pin and connector. That's right, the center
pin is not the cable center stripped back, but rather a real dedicated
gold-plated pin. This helps prevent oxidation from forming on the center
lead often found on regular f-pin cables. In addition, the cable utilizes
a high-purity copper conductor for maximum signal transfer. A dual metal
shield used to minimize interference is wrapped around an enhanced gas-injected
dielectric. This is all contained in an UltraFlex jacket for protection.
Silicone O-rings seal the back-shell to prevent contamination from entering
the housing. The cable is available in lengths of 1m, 1.5m, 2m and 4m.
While Firewire is widely used with today's computers, many camcorders
and home theater product are also supporting the interface. Accell's new
Firewire cable design is fully compliant with the IEEE1394 specification
and includes quad shielding over two twisted pairs of wire all contained
in a heavy-duty translucent jacket. The cable also includes a ferrite
core to suppress high frequency noise. The gold plated pins ensure low
contact resistance. We connected the cable between our JVC HM-DH30000U
D-VHS VCR and our HTPC (Home Theater PC). High definition digital video
looked excellent with this cable with no dropouts or link problems. The
cable construction was much better than those you typically find on the
shelves at your local computer store. The cable is available in lengths
of 3ft, 6ft and 14ft.
If you're like me, you have more cables in your system than you would
like to talk about. The unfortunate part about setting up a home theater
is the vast number of cables one needs to complete the system. The last
thing you need is a cheap cable that gives you intermittent connections
that can degrade performance. However, the cost of populating the rear
panel of your A/V processor or receiver soon becomes painful to your pocket
book. It's not uncommon to spend hundreds of dollars on relatively inexpensive
cables for your system. Higher-end cables break the bank. There needs
to be a balance between quality and cost with today's home theater systems
and it looks like Accell may have just solved the problem. Personally,
I found these cables to be wonderful for most serious consumers by offering
great performance, excellent build quality at a price most can afford.
So far, the Accell cables have proven to be a tremendous value in my opinion.